Wednesday, December 14, 2011


our paths met about 4 years ago while i was working at a kiosk in MacArthur Center mall. he was part of the service staff that emptied out the trash cans there. he saw that i had a ladybug tattoo and has called me "ladybug" ever since. all these years he has never asked what my actual name is. a reason for that is because he can't read or write. he can remember sounds of words and he gives people nicknames from what visually inspires him at that moment.

he showed me a composition book he was filling up with rendered drawings he did of charlie brown cartoons. the book is for his young son as a gift. marvin will look at the small comic frames printed in the newspaper and then draw them larger. he's very proud of his ability to be a human "copy machine."

a few months ago he asked me to get him a "campus". i didn't understand at first what he was referring to until he described wanting to put a picture on it as a gift. so then i was thought, "OH! A CANVAS!"

He surprised me with a drawing of Garfield as a holiday gift and he had me fill in the talk bubble for him.

i saw he wrote "STAR WARS" on the above picture he rendered and i asked him how'd he know to put that on there since he can't read or write. his response was, "someone just shows me what to put and i copy it."

i asked him why he hasn't learned how to read or write and he said "some people know how to drive really well. some people know how to get jobs." I offered to teach him and he said, "thank you but everything is fine just the way it is. let's just be friends." and gives me a small bow and big smile.

his spirit is strong and i'm grateful for the lessons i'm learning from our friendship.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fall Festival

Freshly pressed apple juice.

Pirate story telling and artifacts.

Pumpkin painting

Local honey tasting.

I volunteered to be the photographer at the annual Fall Festival for First Landing State Park. It is the biggest event they organize. For the park staff, it signifies preparations for the closing during the winter season.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Photography/ Creative Writing Workshop

Thanks to my wonderful friend, Dr. Crystal Leigh Endsley, I will be hosting a photography and creative writing workshop at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY near the end of this month. A big "Thank you!" also goes out to the students for making the above flyer!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

my motion picture adventures begin...

many many many moons ago a good friend of mine told me i should try my hand at film since it's just a camera capturing motion and i'd be good at it. a month ago i upgraded my dslr to one that also shoots HD video. this change was meant to be.

i've made it my mission to document and share the spirit of community, culture, music, art, spoken word and dance wherever i may encounter it. why? because it's love in it's most creative form and i hope to inspire others to continuously explore and expand their creative self.

i am a citizen of the world. i am here to share the goodness that comes from it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Art Portfolio: Bonn Duong

Fine artist,Bonn Duong, from Annandale, VA, poses with her pastel creation. I met up with her at the Union 206 Studio recently to help archive her art work digitally.

We had some technical difficulty figuring out how to hang her largest piece. Just to give you an idea of how large it was, Bonn stands at about 5'3.

Bonn's self-sculpture. I think she tried to ride the HOV with it that day... I kid :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

musical musings

this summer 13 year old abby, has been playing covers of today's popular song hits at local cafes such as cafe moka in chesapeake.

mike and michelle watch their daughter, abby, play an acoustic set at borjo's in norfolk, va.

i am a proud auntie.

Monday, July 04, 2011

vocabulary of a gadget girl

Pia, who just turned three years old today, says, "Dada, download a new game."

Saturday, July 02, 2011

The Draft Lottery 3

reasons why i enjoy photographing b-boys and b-girls.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

animal spirits: praying mantis

one morning I decided to finally pull all the crab grass that took over the lavendar plant and to give the lavendar a trim so the walkway to the house was clear. I came upon a praying mantis in the lavendar. with fascination, i watched it be still during all the commotion of pulling the grab grass. The following morning I saw another praying mantis on my car and thought "this is a message!" and looked up its symbolism.

Praying Mantis Meanings in the Realms of Animal Symbolism

The mantis comes to us when we need peace, quiet and calm in our lives. Usually the mantis makes an appearance when we've flooded our lives with so much business, activity, or chaos that we can no longer hear the still small voice within us because of the external din we've created.

After observing this creature for any length of time you can see why the symbolism of the praying mantis deals with stillness and patience. The mantis takes her time, and lives her life at her own silent pace.

* Stillness
* Awareness
* Creativity
* Patience
* Mindful
* Calm
* Balance
* Intuition

These traits have lead the mantis to be a symbol of meditation and contemplation. In fact, in China, the mantis has long been honored for her mindful movements.

The mantis never makes a move unless she is 100% positive it is the right thing for her to do. This is a message to us to contemplate and be sure our minds and souls all agree together about the choices we are making in our lives.

Overwhelmingly in most cultures the mantis is a symbol of stillness. As such, she is an ambassador from the animal kingdom giving testimony to the benefits of meditation, and calming our minds.

An appearance from the mantis is a message to be still, go within, meditate, get quite and reach a place of calm. It may also a sign for you to be more mindful of the choices you are making and confirm that these choices are congruent.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Union 206 Studio: April 2011

"the world is black." - charles butler, owner of Union 206 Studio

charles explaining the science behind light falloff. i like to refer to him as "light macguyver".

the beauty dish.

photo courtesy of lori esque

behind the scenes set-up.

photo courtesy of lori esque

in front of me.

the ring flash.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

slick rick

the perks of shooting my friends' band performing right before the headliner = securing a spot right in front of the stage.

Friday, May 06, 2011

The Draft Lottery: 757 B-boy Event 1-29-11

this exhibition of b-boys was sponsored by radioactive cardboard created by my homie ron, a.k.a. johnny breaker. we recently teamed up to promote this organization and i'm honored and excited to be part of it.

i've been an avid fan of break dancing since 1995. i took my very first photographs of a b-boy senior year of high school for the annual student gallery show. i won two awards for them. a decade or so later, me and photographing b-boys have become synonymous.

for more information about radioactive cardboard <== click there.

Union 206 Studio: March 2011

this was my first time at Union 206 Studio in Alexandria,Va. i came up to hang out with my buddy rob and my old time photography partner in crime, lorimar. she introduced me to this studio and i was giddy the whole time.

behind the scenes photo taken by lorimar, the master mind behind

it's a playground for light sculpting.

lorimar and i kickin' it on the cyc wall.

my goal is to come up at least once a month to shoot at this studio. three words... heaven on earth.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Asa's 3rd Life Anniversary

this lil' nugget is growing up so fast!

dinosaur themed party. how awesome is the cake decoration?!!

Dupre's Salon: London Punk Theme

this shoot was a collaboration of hair stylists & make-up artists from dupre's salon and models from wilhelmina.


she texted me one day and asked if i could take photos of her because she was having a good hair day.

she makes me laugh and she makes awesome pies crust.

K Scott

a sneak peak from a series of portraits i created of my dear friend, k scott.

i remember the first time hearing her voice. i said, "i want to take her home so she can sing me to sleep!"

p.s. i heart stage lighting.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Art, Pizza, Music 9-22-10

i like scoping out the local art shows and meeting the artists.

tiffany lin.

fernando hernandez at work customizing designs on trucker style hats.

fernando's work on canvas. it is amazing and for sale folks.

marcus johnson. portraits done in oil, graphite and prismacolor.

my hands in dirt

i finally have a plant in my home office. pretty.

last week i repotted the house plants and spent the day outside getting fresh oxygen into my pneumonia infected lungs. i thought about listening to music while i worked outside but decided to enjoy the sounds of the neighborhood instead.... kids playing, birds, dogs barking, someone hammering, a lawn mower. it was nice to have my hands in the dirt instead of on some sort of digital technology for a few hours.